DIY Outboard Motor Stand Plans and Tips

When it comes to owning and maintaining boats, having the right equipment can make all the difference. One such essential piece of equipment is an outboard motor stand. Whether you’re a seasoned boater or just starting out, having a sturdy stand to securely hold and work on your outboard motor is invaluable. Not only does it provide a safe and convenient way to store your motor when not in use, but it also makes maintenance and repairs much more manageable.

In this article, we’ll take a DIY approach to building your own outboard motor stand. Why DIY? Well, not only does it allow for cost savings, but it also gives you the freedom to customize the stand to perfectly fit your motor’s specifications. We’ll provide comprehensive plans and step-by-step guidance to help you create a reliable and tailored outboard motor stand, ensuring that your boating experiences remain smooth and hassle-free.

Understanding the Need for an Outboard Motor Stand

An outboard motor stand is an indispensable piece of equipment for boat owners, serving various crucial purposes:

  • Safety and Damage Prevention: Storing your outboard motor on the ground, a trailer, or any uneven surface can expose it to numerous risks. Moisture, dirt, and pests can damage sensitive engine components. Additionally, placing it directly on concrete or rough surfaces can lead to scrapes, dents, or even structural damage.
  • Convenient Maintenance: Maintenance and repairs are inevitable in the life of an outboard motor. Having a dedicated stand allows you to securely place the motor at a comfortable working height. This simplifies tasks like changing the oil, inspecting and repairing propellers, and conducting routine check-ups, significantly reducing the risk of injury and simplifying the process.
  • Space Efficiency: Storing a motor on a stand makes efficient use of space. You can easily tuck it away in a garage, workshop, or even a corner of your boat shed. This organized storage not only saves space but also prevents clutter and tripping hazards.
  • Longevity: Proper storage and maintenance prolong the life of your outboard motor, which is a significant investment for any boat owner. By using a stand, you minimize exposure to damaging elements and ensure the motor remains in top condition for years to come.

An outboard motor stand is not just a convenience; it’s a safeguard for your investment, offering protection, accessibility, and longevity for your motor.

List of Materials and Tools Needed for the Project

Building your own outboard motor stand requires some basic materials and tools to ensure a sturdy and functional result. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:


  • Wood: Opt for sturdy and durable wood, such as plywood or lumber boards. The exact amount will depend on your design, but having extra is always helpful.
  • Screws: Get a variety of screws, including wood screws for securing pieces together.
  • Brackets: Metal brackets or corner braces will add extra stability to your stand.
  • Nails: You might need these for additional reinforcement.
  • Measuring Tape: For precise measurements.
  • Pencil or Marker: To mark measurements and cut lines on the wood.
  • Sandpaper: Smooth any rough edges or surfaces.
  • Paint or Finish (Optional): To protect the wood and improve the stand’s appearance.


  • Circular Saw or Jigsaw: For cutting the wood to the desired lengths and shapes.
  • Drill and Drill Bits: Essential for making holes for screws.
  • Screwdriver: To tighten screws securely.
  • Sawhorses (Optional): They can be helpful for supporting long pieces of wood during cutting and assembly.
  • Safety Gear: Wear safety glasses and hearing protection, especially when using power tools.
  • Workbench or Table: A flat, stable surface for assembly.

Make sure to gather all these materials and tools before you start your DIY outboard motor stand project. Having everything ready will make the construction process smoother and more efficient.

Designing Your Outboard Motor Stand

When designing your DIY outboard motor stand, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure it’s the right fit for your specific outboard motor. Here are some design considerations:

  • Motor Dimensions: Measure the length, width, and height of your outboard motor. The stand’s dimensions should accommodate the motor without any overhang, ensuring a secure fit.
  • Weight Capacity: Determine the weight of your outboard motor. Your stand should be designed to comfortably support this weight. Consider a safety margin to ensure stability.
  • Mounting Points: Decide how your motor will be secured to the stand. Typically, this involves creating a cradle or bracket that matches the motor’s mounting points. Ensure the stand’s structure can support these attachment points securely.
  • Stability: Design the stand to be stable and well-balanced. A wide, sturdy base will prevent tipping. Consider adding cross bracing or support beams to enhance stability.
  • Adjustability (Optional): If you have multiple outboard motors with different sizes, you might want to design an adjustable stand. This allows you to modify the stand’s dimensions to accommodate various motors.
  • Mobility (Optional): Depending on your needs, you can add wheels or casters to the bottom of the stand to make it easier to move around your workspace.
  • Materials: Choose high-quality, sturdy materials like plywood or lumber that can bear the weight of your motor. If you’re concerned about moisture or outdoor storage, consider pressure-treated wood or marine-grade plywood.
  • Paint or Finish (Optional): Applying a finish or paint can help protect the wood from moisture and environmental factors, ensuring the stand’s durability.
  • Safety: Ensure there are no sharp edges or protruding screws that could cause injury during use. Sand down any rough spots.
  • User-Friendly: Make sure your design allows for easy access to all parts of the motor, so you can perform maintenance and repairs without hindrance.

Remember that your design should match your specific outboard motor’s dimensions and weight. Building a stand that is tailored to your motor’s specifications will ensure a safe and secure storage and maintenance solution.

Step-By-Step Guide to Building Your Outboard Motor Stand

Building your DIY outboard motor stand is a rewarding project. Here’s a step-by-step guide to constructing a sturdy and reliable stand:

Materials You’ll Need:

  • 4×4 lumber for the legs
  • 2×4 lumber for the frame and support beams
  • Plywood for the base and motor support
  • Screws, bolts, and nuts
  • Measuring tape
  • Circular saw or miter saw
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Wrenches and socket set
  • Level
  • Safety gear (goggles, gloves, ear protection)

Let’s start building

  • Step 1: Design Your Stand Before you begin, have a clear design plan based on your outboard motor’s dimensions. Ensure you have enough space to comfortably accommodate the motor without any overhang.
  • Step 2: Cut the Lumber Measure and cut the 4×4 lumber for the legs to your desired height, typically about 30-36 inches, depending on your motor’s size. Cut the 2×4 lumber into appropriate lengths for the frame and support beams. Cut the plywood into a square or rectangular shape for the base.
  • Step 3: Build the Base Assemble a rectangular frame using the 2×4 lumber, creating the base of the stand. Ensure it’s square and level. Attach the plywood to the frame to create a solid base.
  • Step 4: Construct the Uprights Attach the 4×4 lumber legs to the corners of the base frame, ensuring they are plumb and securely anchored. Use screws or bolts for a strong connection.
  • Step 5: Add Support Beams Attach horizontal 2×4 support beams between the legs, creating a sturdy framework for the motor. Space them to match the motor’s mounting points.
  • Step 6: Create the Motor Mount Cut a piece of plywood to serve as the motor mount. Secure it to the support beams, ensuring it aligns with your outboard motor’s mounting holes.
  • Step 7: Secure the Motor Attach your outboard motor to the motor mount using the appropriate bolts and nuts. Ensure it is tightly fastened and level.
  • Step 8: Test for Stability Carefully test the stand’s stability and ensure it can support the weight of your motor. Make any necessary adjustments to level the motor if needed.
  • Step 9: Finishing Touches (Optional) You can add paint or finish to protect the wood and improve aesthetics. Sand down any rough edges or surfaces.
  • Step 10: Safely Store Your Motor Place your outboard motor on the stand, ensuring it’s securely fastened. Store it in a dry, sheltered location to protect it from the elements.

Building your outboard motor stand allows you to customize it to your motor’s specific requirements. Always prioritize safety and stability during construction and use.

outboard motor stand plans

Customization and Personalization of DIY Outboard Motor Stands

One of the great advantages of building your own DIY outboard motor stand is the ability to customize it to your specific needs and preferences. Here are some ways you can personalize your stand:

  • Adjustable Design: Depending on the outboard motor’s size and weight you plan to store, you can easily adjust the dimensions of your stand during the design phase. Make sure the motor’s mounting holes align with the stand’s motor mount.
  • Additional Features: Consider adding extra features like shelves or hooks to store tools, spare parts, or accessories. This can help keep your workspace organized.
  • Paint or Finish: Personalize the look of your motor stand by painting it in your preferred color. Use weather-resistant paint or finish to protect the wood from moisture and environmental factors.
  • Locking Wheels: If you want your stand to be mobile, consider adding locking wheels to the bottom. This allows you to move the motor around your workspace or garage with ease.
  • Casters: Install casters on the legs to make it easier to move the stand. This can be especially useful if you need to transport your outboard motor between locations.
  • Tool Storage: Create compartments or slots to store essential tools or maintenance equipment required for working on the motor. This can help keep everything organized and easily accessible.
  • Bracing and Reinforcements: Depending on the weight of your outboard motor, you might want to add additional bracing or reinforcements to ensure the stand’s stability.
  • Nameplate or Label: Add a personalized touch by attaching a nameplate or label with your name, boat name, or any other relevant information to identify the stand.

Remember that safety and stability should always be your top priorities when customizing your outboard motor stand. Ensure that any modifications or additions you make do not compromise the stand’s ability to securely hold the motor.

Safety Measures When Using and Maintaining the Outboard Motor Stand

Safety is paramount when using and maintaining your DIY outboard motor stand. Here are some important safety measures to keep in mind:

  • Secure the Motor: When placing your outboard motor on the stand, ensure it is securely fastened. Use appropriate straps, clamps, or brackets to prevent the motor from tipping or falling.
  • Weight Distribution: Make sure the weight of the motor is evenly distributed on the stand. Ensure that the motor’s mounting holes align with the stand’s motor mount and that the weight is centered.
  • Stability: Check the stability of the stand regularly. Ensure that all fasteners, screws, and brackets are tightened securely. Any signs of wobbling or instability should be addressed immediately.
  • Load Capacity: Be aware of the weight capacity of your stand and do not exceed it. Excessive weight can compromise the stand’s structural integrity.
  • Level Surface: Always place the stand on a level and stable surface. Uneven ground can lead to instability and accidents.
  • Periodic Inspections: Regularly inspect the stand for signs of wear, damage, or deterioration. Pay close attention to the fasteners, legs, and any structural components.
  • Maintenance: Perform routine maintenance on your stand, including lubricating moving parts, replacing worn-out components, and repainting or refinishing as needed.
  • Use Proper Lifting Techniques: When lifting the outboard motor onto or off the stand, use proper lifting techniques to avoid strain or injury. Seek assistance if the motor is heavy.
  • Safety Gear: Wear appropriate safety gear, such as gloves and safety glasses, when working with the outboard motor or the stand.
  • Secure Storage: When not in use, store the outboard motor stand in a secure and dry location, away from moisture and extreme temperatures.

By following these safety measures and conducting regular maintenance, you can ensure the safe and efficient use of your DIY outboard motor stand while prolonging its lifespan. Always prioritize safety when working with heavy equipment like outboard motors.

Alternative Building Materials for Outboard Motor Stands

While wood is a common choice for building DIY outboard motor stands, there are alternative materials to consider, each with its own set of pros and cons:


  • Pros: Metal, such as steel or aluminum, offers excellent strength and durability. It can withstand heavy loads and is less susceptible to moisture-related damage compared to wood. Metal stands are also less likely to warp or deteriorate over time.
  • Cons: Metal stands can be heavier and more challenging to transport or move around. They may also require welding or specialized tools for construction, making them less DIY-friendly for some individuals. Additionally, metal stands can be more expensive than wood.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride):

  • Pros: PVC is lightweight, affordable, and resistant to moisture, making it a viable alternative for building outboard motor stands. It’s easy to work with and doesn’t require advanced tools or skills. PVC is also resistant to corrosion.
  • Cons: PVC may not be as strong as wood or metal, so it’s essential to choose the right thickness and diameter for your specific motor. It may not be suitable for very heavy outboard motors. PVC stands can also be less visually appealing than wood or metal.

Composite Materials:

  • Pros: Composite materials, which can include a blend of wood fibers and plastic, offer a balance between the durability of wood and the resistance to moisture of plastic. They are generally lightweight and sturdy.
  • Cons: Composite materials can be more expensive than plain wood or PVC. The availability of composite materials may vary depending on your location.

Hybrid Materials:

  • Pros: You can also consider hybrid stands that combine materials. For example, a wooden frame with a metal or PVC motor mount can offer both strength and resistance to moisture.
  • Cons: Building hybrid stands may require more complex construction techniques, and you’ll need to ensure that the materials are securely joined.

The choice of material ultimately depends on your specific requirements, budget, and construction skills. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to weigh these factors when deciding which one is best for your DIY outboard motor stand.

Cost Savings and Benefits of Building Your Own Outboard Motor Stand

Building your own outboard motor stand offers several cost savings and benefits compared to purchasing a pre-made stand:

  • Cost-Effective: DIY outboard motor stand projects are typically more budget-friendly than buying a ready-made stand. You can choose materials that fit your budget, and you won’t have to pay for the labor and markup costs associated with manufactured stands.
  • Customization: When you build your own stand, you have complete control over its design and dimensions. This allows you to tailor it specifically to your outboard motor’s size and weight. You can also add features like storage shelves or wheels for added convenience.
  • Sense of Accomplishment: Successfully completing a DIY project is immensely satisfying. Building your own outboard motor stand not only saves you money but also provides a sense of achievement and pride in your craftsmanship.
  • Learning Experience: DIY projects offer a valuable opportunity to learn new skills or improve existing ones. You can enhance your woodworking or metalworking abilities while creating a functional and practical tool for your boating needs.
  • Versatility: DIY stands can be adapted for various outboard motor sizes or even used for different purposes, such as holding other equipment or tools. This versatility can extend the stand’s usefulness beyond just motor storage.

Building your own outboard motor stand not only saves you money but also allows you to create a customized, versatile, and functional solution while providing a sense of accomplishment and personalization. It’s a rewarding DIY project for boating enthusiasts.

Safety Precautions for Working with Tools and Equipment During Construction

When building a DIY outboard motor stand, safety should be a top priority. Here are some essential safety precautions to keep in mind:

Wear Protective Gear:

  • Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as safety glasses, hearing protection (if using power tools), gloves, and closed-toe shoes with non-slip soles. PPE helps protect you from potential injuries.

Work in a Well-Ventilated Area:

  • If you’re working indoors or in an enclosed space, ensure proper ventilation to prevent the buildup of dust, fumes, or harmful particles. If you’re using paints or finishes, use them in a well-ventilated area or wear a respirator designed for the specific chemicals you’re using.

Tool Safety:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines for all tools and equipment you use. Keep tools well-maintained and in good working condition.
  • Use power tools safely, keeping hands and other body parts away from moving parts. Disconnect power sources when changing tool accessories or performing maintenance.
  • When using saws or cutting tools, be cautious of kickback and follow proper cutting techniques.
  • Keep your workspace clean and well-organized to reduce the risk of tripping or falling.

Lifting and Handling:

  • When lifting heavy materials or the outboard motor, use proper lifting techniques, including bending your knees, keeping your back straight, and using your legs to lift.
  • If the motor is particularly heavy, consider enlisting the help of others to prevent strain or injury.

Fire Safety:

  • Be cautious when working with flammable materials such as paints, solvents, or adhesives. Keep fire extinguishing equipment nearby and know how to use it.

Electrical Safety:

  • If your project involves electrical components, make sure to disconnect power sources before working on any electrical connections. If you’re not experienced with electrical work, consider seeking assistance from a qualified electrician.

Secure Workpieces:

  • Ensure that workpieces are securely clamped or fastened when drilling, cutting, or performing any other operations. This prevents pieces from shifting unexpectedly.

Take Your Time:

  • Rushing through a project can lead to mistakes and accidents. Take your time, follow instructions carefully, and double-check your work as you go along.

Stay Informed:

  • Educate yourself about the potential hazards associated with your project and materials. Knowing the risks allows you to take appropriate precautions.

Remember that safety is an ongoing concern throughout your DIY project. Continuously assess your work environment and practices to minimize risks and ensure a safe and enjoyable building experience.

Watch How to make an inexpensive portable Outboard Motor Stand | Video

Top 5 FAQs and answers related to DIY Outboard Motor Stand Plans and Tips

Why do I need an outboard motor stand?

An outboard motor stand is essential for storing, maintaining, and repairing your outboard motor. It provides a stable and safe platform to work on the motor, making tasks like maintenance, cleaning, and repairs much easier and safer.

Can I buy a pre-made outboard motor stand instead of building one?

Yes, you can purchase pre-made outboard motor stands from marine supply stores or online retailers. However, building your own allows for customization to fit your specific motor’s dimensions and saves costs.

What materials do I need to build an outboard motor stand?

The materials you’ll need typically include wood (such as plywood and lumber), screws or bolts, brackets, and possibly casters for mobility. The exact materials will depend on your chosen design and the weight of your outboard motor.

Are there different designs for outboard motor stands?

Yes, there are various designs available for outboard motor stands. The choice of design depends on factors like the motor’s size, your workspace, and whether you want it to be stationary or mobile. Common designs include simple A-frame stands, cradle-style stands, and more complex designs with added features like shelves.

Is building an outboard motor stand a difficult DIY project?

Building an outboard motor stand can vary in difficulty depending on your woodworking skills and the complexity of the design you choose. Simple designs can be relatively straightforward, while more advanced designs may require more woodworking expertise. Following detailed plans and taking your time can help make the project manageable for DIY enthusiasts of various skill levels.


In conclusion, this article has provided comprehensive guidance on the importance of having an outboard motor stand and the benefits of taking the DIY approach. We’ve covered the need for proper storage and maintenance, discussed the materials and tools required, and walked through the step-by-step construction process.

Building your own outboard motor stand not only allows for customization but also offers a cost-effective solution to safely store, maintain, and repair your outboard motor. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or just getting started with DIY projects, creating an outboard motor stand is a manageable and rewarding undertaking.

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